House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi laughs during a conversation at the women's caucus.
Nancy Pelosi laughs during a conversation at a women’s caucus. Photo by Chris Stone

One thing seasoned surfers can spot is the amateur.

As with most sports, the wannabes try to imitate the fashion, style and glamorous pictures of success in sports magazines.

In California’s oceans, that often translates into the newbie straddling his board, outside the breakers, striking a nonchalant pose—in a new purchased wet suit (with booties)—and bobbing away the time, as if waiting for the big wave to ride ashore.

In reality, it is fear that keeps these beginners beyond the breakers and away from the larger swells—lest a decent wave dump them unceremoniously.

Other beginners wisely try to learn. They belly-ride their boards in the safer shallow waters, progress to kneeling, then to surfing the kinder waves, all before tackling the big kahunas.

The truly great, gifted and gracious surfers stay in their own space—beyond the breakers—while biding their time and pitting their experience against the biggest, baddest and best waves.

These veterans see the greatest waves “just outside” and wait for them. They savor those rides.

Enter the impeachment waves currently buffeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from all sides.

The progressive Democratic caucus wants impeachment now. The first-term members elected in Trump districts want to wait. The cable news liberals push for “now or never” and hope for higher ratings.

Add the Democratic presidential candidates (in the shallow waters of consequences) are nearly unanimous in their “do it now” chant.

The surge clamoring to impeach President Trump beckons Pelosi to do something—anything.

Amazingly, even Donald Trump hopes for impeachment—guessing it might provide a new cloak of electoral invincibility for him in the guise of victimhood.

Pelosi recognizes the undercurrent in the political ocean. Yet, she waits.

Why? She sees something. She sees a bigger picture.

She sees ahead—beyond those breakers in every news cycle. And she also comprehends the political perils and the real dangers.

Yet, she also feels the underwater tug that promises to deliver the ride of her life.

She wants to “wait for it.” To educate the public. Let the press, the investigations, the courts, and public opinion begin to see what she knows exists.

Few politicians, other than Pelosi could survive the impatient clamors for action, let alone ride the turbulence safely to shore.

Her intuitive and strategic talents—earned via decades of riding lots of partisan waves—getting dumped, getting thrilled, and doing it over and over again provide priceless experiences.

Seriously, surfing best captures that genius that is Pelosi’s.

In pre-colonial Hawaii, surfing was not merely a pastime but actually an intensive training exercise meant to keep chiefs in prime physical condition.

“Furthermore, surfing served as a system of conflict resolution. Members of the affluent class would test their skills in fierce competitions, during which wealth, pride and even romance were at stake,” according to one authoritative source.

So, too with the Pelosi. Her skills have kept her caucus in check. She easily defeated an attempt by the idiots to derail her recent ascension to the Speaker of the House.

And she has kept them in check, again, against the false hope of quick impeachment.

Her patience and newly honed rapier-like delivery against Trump has rattled the President.

“He is not worth it,” she says. “He needs an intervention for the sake of the country…I pray for him…He is not well.” And her latest, “I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison.”

Trump finally coined a nickname for the Speaker—boorishly spoken in front of the graves of those soldiers honored on the 75th anniversary of the of the invasion of Normandy.

“Nervous Nancy,” Trump said, adding, “She is a disaster.”

She appears anything but nervous, standing on her board of principles, as gracefully and skillfully as Encinitas’ famous Surfing Madonna—searching the horizon for that kahuna of a wave that she sees coming her way in 2020.

Just as she saw the pounder that dumped Trump and the Republicans in 2018.

Wait for it. The amateur versus the seasoned pro.

Who catches the wave? Who will be the disaster?

Colleen O’Connor is a native San Diegan and a retired college professor.